If you want a cheap but delicious meal that can feed a family of four for about ten dollars, a nice brisket with some mashed potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls would be a great choice. Brisket is a somewhat tough cut of meat, but that can be easily overcome by using the proper cooking techniques.
The first thing you need to do is go to your local grocery store and pick out a nice cut. A two pound or so piece will be sufficient for four, but you can adjust depending on the portion size you desire. Look for a lean cut with a little bit of fat on the bottom.
Now that you found your main course, it is time to prepare it for cooking. If you have the time, you can get the best flavor by allowing it to marinate over night in the refrigerator. You can choose any kind of marinade you like or make your own. A simple but very tasty marinade can be made by pouring about two cups of water into a large bowl. Add a generous amount of steak sauce and stir until the liquid is a consistent light brown. Shake in some onion powder and don’t be stingy with it. Take a few good turns of the pepper mill and add ground pepper to taste. Finally slice up two large Vidalia onions in 3/4 inch slices and cut the rings in half. Separate into pieces and add to the marinade. Mix everything up again and then put the brisket in the marinade, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
The next evening, your meat will be thoroughly infused with the marinade and ready for cooking. Get a large pot and put the brisket (fat side down) in and pour the marinade over it. If the meat is completely covered with the marinade you’re ready. If it does not quite cover the brisket, just add a little water. If necessary, add a little more steak sauce, onion powder and ground pepper.
Turn your stovetop up high and allow the marinade to come to a slow boil. Watch it carefully and reduce heat to a medium-low setting. Cover the pot and allow to cook for about an hour and a half to two hours. About halfway in to the cooking, remove the brisket and carefully trim the excess fat away from the bottom of the meat. It will be hot and dripping so use a cutting board and a large fork and sharp knife. Next place it back in the pot and let it finish cooking for about an hour.
It should be soft and tender when you remove it from the pot. Now, place it on a shallow baking sheet and set the oven on broil. Broil for about 10 minutes on each side and then remove. This will give a nice crisp outer edge to your brisket.
Remove the brisket and place it in the refrigerator to cool. Scoop out the onions and some of the marinade and set it aside. Once the brisket has cooled a little, it will be much easier to slice neatly. Take a nice sharp knife and slice at an angle against the grain. Lay the slices in a nice arrangement on a serving platter and cover with the onions and marinade you saved. Place in the microwave for a couple of minutes until warm.
Finally, remove the platter and set on the table. Get the mashed potatoes, greenbeans and dinner rolls and call everyone to dinner. Now enjoy!